Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Monday, September 24, 2012

Don't Let Republicans Steal the Election

Don't let them steal the election.Ohio has emerged as the latest front in the Republican scheme to derail democracy by disenfranchising millions of eligible voters. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, in a blatant partisan move to steal the election for Mitt Romney, is trying to put an end to early weekend voting before Election Day. This change in Ohio election practices specifically impacts minority and low income voters.2

It's not just Ohio. It's also Florida and Pennsylvania. (On a rare positive note, facing pressure from CREDO Action members and others, Republicans have backed off from their voter purging efforts in Colorado.1)
Earlier this summer, CREDO Action members signed over 87,000 petitions and made over 1,600 phone calls urging Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to hold Congressional hearings on brazen Republican efforts to steal the 2012 presidential election in other key battle ground states like Florida and Pennsylvania. With Republicans showing no sign of slowing down their tenacious efforts to steal the election, we're escalating our call for Senator Leahy to hold hearings to investigate the GOP effort to suppress the votes of millions of voters in key battleground states across the country.
A prominent Ohio Republican state official has already openly admitted that Husted's efforts to shut down weekend voting would result in African Americans voters having a more difficult time voting.3 A federal district judge struck down Husted's effort to restrict early voting during the three days before the election, and after initially resisting that court order Husted backed down for the time being, pending appeal in higher court.4
But the crisis is not over. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that will be reviewing the district court decision to strike down Husted's efforts to restrict early voting is "a Republican-leaning court with a history of partisan decisions benefiting the Republican Party."5
The situation in Ohio is crucial given its recent history in Presidential elections. In 2004 hundreds of thousands of predominantly minority and Democratic voters were disenfranchised on Election Day due to massive lines and "widespread electoral dysfunction."6 As Ari Berman reported in the Nation:
According to one survey, 174,000 Ohioans, 3 percent of the electorate, left their polling place without voting because of the interminable wait. (Bush won the state by only 118,000 votes).7
In response to the mess on Election Day in 2004, Ohio reformed its electoral process by adding early voting before Election Day, leading to a "much smoother experience" in 2008.8 The opportunity to vote early led to record turnout for African American and low income voters.
Now the Republicans in Ohio are working to disenfranchise thousands of those voters in racially diverse urban centers such as Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland. The restriction on weekend voting is specifically aimed at disrupting minority voters — for example, African-American churches historically rally their congregants to the voting booth on the Sunday before the election.9
The Republican elections officials in Ohio, along with their counterparts in Florida and Pennsylvania, should be trying to help more eligible voters participate in the democratic process, not disenfranchise minorities and the poor.
Senator Leahy needs to get the message from as many Americans as possible that it's not okay for Republican elections officials in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio — or any other state — to engage in systematic effort to disenfranchise U.S. citizens for the explicit purpose of swinging the election to Republican Mitt Romney in November.
Let's keep the pressure on Senator Leahy to hold a public hearing on the GOP war on voting today.
Thank you for standing up for the right to vote.
Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Aviva Shen, "Colorado Secretary of State Gives Up On Voter Purge," ThinkProgress.com, September 11, 2012.
2. Aviva Shen and Adam Peck, "Ohio Limits Early Voting Hours In Democratic Counties, Expands In Republican Counties," ThinkProgess.com, August 10, 2012.
3. Aviva Shen, "Ohio GOP Election Board Member: Our Voting Process Shouldn't Accommodate Black Voters," ThinkProgress.com, August 19, 2012.
4. Ryan J. Reilly, "Ohio Secretary Of State Backs Down On Early Voting,"TalkingPointsMemo.com, September 7, 2012.
5. Ian Millhiser, "BREAKING: Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Law Restricting Early Voting," ThinkProgress.com, August 31, 2012.
6. Ari Berman, Ohio Early Voting Cutbacks Disenfranchise Minority Voters," The Nation, August 8, 2012.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Gene Demby, "Black Pastors Group Criticizes Ohio For New Rules That Limit Early Voting," HuffingtonPost.com, August 14, 2012.

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